How to Improve Employee Morale and Job Satisfaction

We talk a lot about engagement in this blog, but what about good old job satisfaction? Should your organization care about it? Does it matter?


In the most simple terms, employee satisfaction relates to how content your workers are. Job satisfaction shouldn’t be overlooked or dismissed as irrelevant. It also shouldn’t be the focus of your organization. Satisfied employees might not be engaged, whereas for an employee to be engaged, they must be satisfied.

How does that work?

Employee satisfaction is the nuts and bolts of the job. It often relates to extrinsic elements. Basically, you need to ask yourself this question: Are your workers’ needs being met?

Satisfaction surveys can measure compensation, the working environment, tools and resources, workload, employee attitudes, work-life balance, staff relationships, and company culture. When organizations focus on how to improve satisfaction, changes might not lead to increased performance. The conditions that make workers "satisfied" with their jobs can reveal ways to improve and challenge the status quo.

Job satisfaction is the building block for engagement


Engagement is more than being happy with pay, the benefits package, and getting permission to leave at 4:30 in the afternoon. Engagement has to do with how connected an employee is with their work and the organization, their passion, and understanding their purpose. Instead of showing up to clock time, they put discretionary effort into their tasks. Engaged employees are high performers.


Both morale and satisfaction are pieces of engagement. Without these building blocks in place, an organization will struggle to retain employees and engage its staff. Start with the basics:

Review your pay and benefits package:

Fair and competitive compensation matter. Invest in your most valuable resource – your people. This includes a health package (including reproductive and mental health), a decent wage, and other meaningful benefits like paid vacation and sick leave, retirement plans, savings plans for education, flexible spending accounts, partnerships with wellness and fitness organizations, and more.

Improve workplace morale.

When people show up to work and feel valued, they feel satisfied. Establish clear behavior expectations. Lead by example, establishing consistent standards of behavior. Have workplace harassment training with clear, anonymous paths for reporting, and clear consequences. Effectively mediate conflict, building relationships. Improve teamwork and collaboration .Create spaces for people to interact, face-to-face: a space for snacking, a quiet nook for reading, playing chess, a lunchtime walking club. Create community and belongingness.

Don’t forget about your remote workers.

The world is much more connected now, but at the same time, much less connected. Remote workers, too, need to feel a connection to their peers and coworkers. Find ways to foster healthy workplace relationships, even if it can only be done through the screen. And, if possible, at least once a year (if not more), bring people in to have real interaction.

Be transparent.

Hallway gossip can kill satisfaction, especially regarding the financial stability of an organization. Build a culture of trust. Discuss the health of the organization’s finances, but spare everyone the doomsday report. Be candid. Share what’s happening, whether good or bad or neutral. Discuss challenges. Continue to show appreciation for the work people are doing. Celebrate successes. Be honest.

Keep technology and resources updated.

Basically, fix the copy machine. Make sure your people have the resources and tools they need to get the job done. This includes updated, licensed software, lighted workspaces, safe places to work, and ergonomic chairs and desks, and more. Likewise, train your staff. Provide them with relevant skills training, give them opportunities to go to workshops and conferences, and ongoing education. People want to work. But if they don’t have the tools and resources to allow them to do so, then they will start looking for a place where they can.

Improving job satisfaction and morale are the building blocks of employee engagement.

How to Improve Employee Morale and Job Satisfaction

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